There is an inexorable circularity in the dominant argument that condemns romantic comedy as the most mediocre and repetitive of genres because, since a romantic comedy is a love story with a happy ending, all romantic comedies end the same way. If we accept that there are other dimensions to the genre apart from the happy ending then the recognition of much greater formal and ideological variety will immediately ensue. The ending of the romantic comedy appears to be so highly conventionalised that it seems critically tendentious to draw so much attention to it, overlooking what makes the genre rich, varied and, in sum, culturally important.

Celestino Deleyto, The Secret Life of Romantic Comedies, 2009 (24)

Filmic texts are meeting points in which various genres come into contact with one another, vie for dominance and are transformed. Whereas in many films one genre is clearly dominant over the rest, many others register the presence of more than one genre. Genre mixing is, therefore, not particularly specific to a tradition of films, nor a period of the history of cinema, but something inherent to the workings of film genre

Celestino Deleyto, The Secret Life of Romantic Comedies, 2009 (14)

A circular argument has been more or less universally accepted whereby only those films that include certain conventions and a certain ‘conservative’ perspective on relationships are romantic comedies and, therefore, romantic comedies are the most conventional and conservative of all genres. If a film threatens to be mildly interesting in cinematic, narrative or ideological terms then it cannot possibly be a romantic comedy. It is a very popular argument and one that manages to contain the genre with very strict and narrow parameters

Celestino Deleyto, The Secret Life of the Romantic Comedy, 2009 (3)

Negotiating between the private and public, the past and the present, Hollywood romantic comedy seeks to shape coherent perspectives on love from the contradictory utterances that compose it. Conceptualisations of love may be constantly in flus – along with broader configurations of romance, sexuality, gender identity and marriage – but the genre routinely celebrates it as an immutable, almost mystical force that guides two individuals who are ‘made for each other’ into one another’s arms.

Frank Krutnik, “Conforming Passions?: Contemporary Romantic Comedy” (138, in Neale’s Genre and Contemporary Hollywood, 2002)

Never simply a personal or interpersonal affair, romance is a multifaceted cultural formation that comes to us through a bewildering array of texts, voices and discourses. The struggle against love involves wrestling not just with the poetics of individual attraction, but also with the complex inheritance of received opinion that defines amorous relations. Hollywood itself has played a crucial role as part of the apparatus of intimate culture, its widely disseminated fictions translating affairs of the heart into accessible conceptual and emotional forms.

Frank Krutnik, “Conforming Passions?: Contemporary Romantic Comedy” (138, in Neale’s Genre and Contemporary Hollywood, 2002)